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Against Exemplarity: W. G. Sebald and the Problem of Connection

Against Exemplarity: W. G. Sebald and the Problem of Connection TIMOTHY BEWES [I]n a world reduced to a multiplicity of chaos, it is only the formal structure of the work of art, insofar as it does not refer to anything else, that can serve as unity. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs xemplarity is a conceptual relationship in which the parts of a work are linked to a whole. The "whole" in this formulation is not just the whole of the work but that of a world of which the work is a part, and to which the work and the exemplary instance within it are tied by the work's claim to relevance, to legibility. Exemplarity is the fabric of connectivity in which the literary work has its being. It is the always-unstated logic according to which readers identify with the characters of a work, or by which they may search in it for indications of how to live. Exemplarity is a bridge between the world about which we read and the world in which we read; it links the sensuous and the conceptual. By its means, as Alain Badiou says in Logics of Worlds, "We simultaneously think the multiplicity of worlds and the invariance of the truths that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Against Exemplarity: W. G. Sebald and the Problem of Connection

Contemporary Literature , Volume 55 (1)

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University of Wisconsin Press
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Abstract

TIMOTHY BEWES [I]n a world reduced to a multiplicity of chaos, it is only the formal structure of the work of art, insofar as it does not refer to anything else, that can serve as unity. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs xemplarity is a conceptual relationship in which the parts of a work are linked to a whole. The "whole" in this formulation is not just the whole of the work but that of a world of which the work is a part, and to which the work and the exemplary instance within it are tied by the work's claim to relevance, to legibility. Exemplarity is the fabric of connectivity in which the literary work has its being. It is the always-unstated logic according to which readers identify with the characters of a work, or by which they may search in it for indications of how to live. Exemplarity is a bridge between the world about which we read and the world in which we read; it links the sensuous and the conceptual. By its means, as Alain Badiou says in Logics of Worlds, "We simultaneously think the multiplicity of worlds and the invariance of the truths that

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

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